Owners would sometimes cut their silver to fill voids in their household serving set or to make a hard-to-sell item more attractive to novice buyers. And trays weren't the only silver pieces to be modified. For instance, tankards might have been made into a coffee pot. Chatelaine's Antiques Collectibles Appraisals

 

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Chatelaine's Antiques and Appraisals Magazine > Decorative Arts > Our Opinion: Resizing Silver Pieces
 


 

Native American Silver Jewelry

SILVER WARE

Silver Cake Baskets

Caring for EPNS

Silver hallmarks

Silver Plating, or Plated Silver

Plated Coffee and Tea Sets

Silver Plated Tableware

Silver Tea Accessories

Edwardian Table Silver

 

 

 
RESIZING SILVER PIECES


 
Dear Chatelaine's Antiques,
I bought this silver tray and was delighted with it until a friend who knows something about silver said it had once been much larger and had been cut down.
  I respect my friend's knowledge but what he said doesn't make sense.
 Here are some pictures, including one of the handle. 
Did trays ever get cut down? And wouldn't the handle look like it was soldered on if it was?
R.M.
  Dear R.M,
 Your friend is right and wrong. Trays do get reshaped to suit the owner's needs, and it appears that the handle of your tray has been repaired. However, it's not obvious that your tray was ever made smaller.
 Owners would sometimes cut their silver to fill voids in their household serving set or to make a hard-to-sell item more attractive to novice buyers. And trays weren't the only silver pieces to be modified. For instance, tankards might have been made into a coffee pot. You can usually tell a piece has been cut down if the size of the hallmark is out of proportion. Use your judgment. If the decoration seems out of proportion with the whole piece, it's probably been cut down.

The bad news is anytime a piece of silver is tampered with, its value drops. And unfortunately there's no way to "untamper" it to restore its value.

The good news is you know what to look for next time. Good luck!


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